What is a BID?
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a proven business-led initiative, supported by legislation, where businesses work together and invest collectively in local improvements to their business environment.
A BID covers a defined geographical area, within which businesses operate. Oban's BID is unique in the UK - if not the world! in establishing a BID for a whole town area - that is, all businesses falling within the 30 mph limit of Oban being included within the district.
Businesses within the area are invited to come together to make decisions on how to improve their trading environment. Through consultation, a range of projects and services which businesses believe will improve their trading environment and business performance have been agreed and were voted in by the business community in October 2012.
A BID provides businesses with the opportunity to become directly involved in the development and improvement of the local area, by working in partnership with the Council and other statutory authorities which deliver services to the area.
BIDs operate on a basis of compulsory contributions, so all eligible businesses in the Oban BID area have contributed to the scheme after a majority of businesses supported the BID in the ballot in October 2012.
The BID operates over five years from 31 October 2012 to 30 October 2017 with an established budget and Business Plan for the delivery of an agreed set of projects.
Shouldn’t the local authority be doing this anyway?
A BID is not a substitute for central or local government investment, but an additional investment to strengthen the local economy. Part of the BID Proposal, approved by Argyll and Bute Council, includes a series of 'Baseline Service Agreements' which detail the existing services which the Council is either statutorily required to deliver or which it currently delivers on a discretionary basis for the town.
For full details of BIDs in Scotland and elsewhere, please refer to the BID Scotland website.